The two restaurants in this roundup have item in common: Not only do they specialize in BBQ fare, but they're the subjects of return visits.
The first, Chicago q ( 1160 N. Dearborn St.; chicagoqrestaurant.com/ ), has unveiled a spring menubut the offerings we tried were different from the fare I've tried at this Southern-style restaurant.
However, they were no less delicious. Chef Lee Ann Whippen has added some incredibly sumptuous items to the menu such as the pork-cheek corn dogs ( pure heaven ) and the alligator sausage. I've had alligator, but it tasted like chicken to me; this sample, however, seemed to be more like pork. It was tasty, but the feeling was weird.
Whippen also deserves kudos for the shrimp brochettes, elotes ( Mexican grilled corna trendy dish I've noticed in area restaurants ) and honey-butter cornbread ( a substantial hunk that two people could finishor that could finish off two people ). The pulled-chicken quesadillas were also quite good, even though my dining companion and I thought there'd be more of a Southern-style twist to the dish.
Also, don't forget to sample the chips and pickles given at the start of each meal. The only bad thing is that they're so delicious you might be full before you dive into your appetizers.
Check out this place now.
With Q-BBQ (www.q-bbq.com/&, it was a revisit as wellbut to a different site. As opposed to the original Naperville location, this one is in Lake View at 714 W. Diversey Pkwy. (There's a third restaurant in Lagrange, Illinois.)
The ribs I've had here (smoked up to six hours, by the way) rank up there with those I've had at Old Crow Smokehouse and ... Chicago q. However, the ribs were part of the much larger (and daunting) Papa Q Platter, a Noah's ark-like collection that includes burnt ends, chopped and sliced brisket, wings (sweet and spicy), turkey and the aforementioned ribsalong with two regular sides and the most delicious hush puppies I've had in quite some timefor $29.99. (It's a good thing there's a roll of paper towels at this establishment, as patrons are in for some messy goodness.) Be sure to sample the variety of sauces at the table until you find your favorite.
However, if consuming all that meat (and having leftovers for a couple days) isn't your bag, this casual eatery offers all of those items separately, of course. And there are other items, such as the Memphis baby-back ribs plate, various sandwichesand, yes, even salads (chopped, Western, garden and Caesar). Of course, you can add meat to those salads if you wish.
Even the sides exemplify indulgence. The BBQ baked beans are tasty, the cornbread is sizeable and delicious, and there's even a dish called bacon mac-Q-roni.
Q-BBQ is a primary example of why you don't need to go to upscale restaurants to find really good food.